Winter is coming! You might have taken all the preparation for the upcoming fall and winter. But what about your home? Is it ready to keep you warm in the cold weather? If not, you have to get it ready so that you face no hassle during the cold season. Let’s see how you can get your home ready.
Inspect the Heating System
The first and foremost thing you have to do is check your home’s heating system. A good heater easily lasts for about 20 years. But you have to maintain it properly. The best way is to check it before each winter. This is the best time to change the filter or make any repairs.
Call a professional for a thorough inspection. It will incur some bills, but you will know if there is any issue or if any fixing is needed. So, make sure you inspect your heating system before the weather turns cold.
Fix Exterior Wooden Surfaces
When it comes to insulating your home, walls play the most crucial role. If you have a wooden wall, make sure there are no cracks or holes. You will have to seal them, caulk them and paint over them to keep your home better insulated.
Besides, wood trim around the windows and doors is especially prone to cracks and damage. Make sure you fix them before winter comes. Otherwise, no matter how good is your heater, you won’t get enough warmth in your home.
Protect Exterior Hard Surfaces
Now, you have to take proper care of your exterior concrete and masonry surfaces. Cold weather will affect them a lot. So make those prepared to withstand the cold weather. Your driveway, patio, or even walkways take heavy snow. You have to get rid of any issues before winter comes.
See if there are any cracks on any of your hard exterior surfaces. Use a concrete or masonry sealer to seal those cracks.
Insulate the Pipes
Pipes outside of the heating area are always a threat in the winter. Generally, pipes that run along the walls and those in the basement need insulation. The water inside can freeze and make your pipes burst.
So, the best way to protect the pipes is to insulate them with a pipe insulator. You will find them in hardware stores. Purchase it and wrap it around your exterior pipes.
Clean the Gutters
Check your gutters before winter arrives. See if it is clogged with dirt. In most cases, leaves block the gutters and prevent water from draining. In that case, debris will freeze into big size ice, damaging the shingle and your roof. So, take a ladder and clean the gutter. Make sure water can pass easily.
It’s finally time to order firewood. Order enough firewood to survive the whole winter. Stack them in a dry place and cover them with something. Do not keep rotten firewood in your home. It can damage your house. Most importantly, do not let them get wet.
Best practices of employee digital onboarding
In a world where technologies are more advanced than ever, staff onboarding has to keep up. As new employees join companies, it’s important to make sure they have the right tools and training in order to be successful. That’s where digital onboarding comes in.
Digital onboarding is a comprehensive solution that helps employees understand the company culture, goals, and processes. It also makes sure they have access to all the information they need to start doing their job effectively. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of the best practices of employee digital onboarding so you can ensure your team is set up for success.
What is digital onboarding?
Digital onboarding is the process of orienting and acclimating new employees to their roles using digital tools. This can include everything from providing new hires with an online orientation program to setting up their email accounts and workstations.
The goal of digital onboarding is to help new employees hit the ground running and be productive members of the team as quickly as possible. By providing new hires with all the information they need to do their job, digital onboarding can help reduce training time and costs, and improve employee satisfaction and retention.
When done well, digital onboarding can provide a great first impression of the company and set new hires up for success. Here are some best practices for creating a successful digital onboarding experience:
- Start with an online orientation program: New hires should have access to an online orientation program that covers the basics of the company, their role, and what they can expect in their first few weeks on the job. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page from day one.
- Set up email accounts and workstations ahead of time: One of the most frustrating things for new hires is starting their first day only to find that their email account isn’t working or their workstation isn’t set up properly. To avoid this, set up email accounts and workstations ahead of time so that everything is ready to go on day one.
Onboarding best practices for remote employees
The process of best practices for remote onboarding involves the use of technology instead of in person to conduct onboarding. As a result, new hires do not receive a physical welcome, no face-to-face orientation, or interaction with managers. He will have to learn new software and technology on their own.
As a result, human resource teams around the world are still trying to figure out how to smoothly onboard new employees. Companies can benefit from developing such onboarding programs that are tailored to current times and technology. Here are some of the best practices they can follow:
The benefits of digital onboarding
Digital onboarding is an important part of the employee experience. By providing a digital onboarding program, you can help your employees transition into their new roles more effectively and efficiently. Here are some benefits of digital onboarding:
- Increased Engagement and Retention
When employees are engaged in their work from the start, they are more likely to stick around. A digital onboarding program can help ensure that your employees are engaged in their work from day one by providing them with the resources they need to be successful.
- Improved Communication
A digital onboarding program can improve communication between you and your employees. By providing a central place for all communications, you can ensure that everyone is on the same page and that no information is lost in translation.
- Greater Efficiency
A digital onboarding program can help you save time and money by streamlining the onboarding process. By using technology to automate tasks and provide information electronically, you can avoid paper waste and reduce the amount of time spent on administrative tasks.
The best practices of digital onboarding
Digital onboarding is the process of bringing new employees into an organization using technology. It can be used to orient employees to the company culture, values, and expectations, as well as provide them with the tools and resources they need to be successful in their new role.
There are a number of best practices that organizations can follow to ensure a successful digital onboarding experience for their employees:
- Set clear expectations from the start
Be sure to communicate what is expected of employees during the onboarding process. This will help set the tone for the rest of their time with the company and ensure that they understand what is expected of them.
- Use engaging and interactive content
Make sure that the content you use during digital onboarding is engaging and interactive. This will help keep employees engaged in the process and ensure that they are learning what they need to know.
- Personalize the experience
Personalizing the digital onboarding experience for each employee will help them feel welcomed and valued by your organization. This can be done by tailoring content to each individual’s needs or providing a personal touch through things like welcome videos from senior leaders.
How to create a successful digital onboarding strategy
A successful digital onboarding strategy should focus on creating a smooth and efficient transition for new hires. The goal is to help them feel comfortable and confident with the company’s culture, values, and expectations. While every organization is different, there are some general best practices that can be followed to create a successful digital onboarding strategy:
- Define the goals and objectives of the onboarding process. What do you want new hires to accomplish during their first few weeks or months? Be sure to involve stakeholders from various departments in this step so that everyone is on the same page.
- Create a timeline for the onboarding process. This will ensure that each task is completed in a timely manner and that no steps are missed.
- Develop engaging and informative content. New hires should have access to all the information they need to be successful in their role. This could include job descriptions, company policies, training materials, etc.
- Utilize technology to your advantage. There are many great tools out there that can help with communication, collaboration, and storing documents/information. Choose ones that will work best for your organization and make sure they are user-friendly for new hires.
- Personalize the experience as much as possible. Consider using greeting cards, welcome videos from senior leadership, or having someone from HR reach out personally to each new hire before their start date. These small touches can go a long way in making someone
Case studies of successful digital onboarding
Digital onboarding is the process of using technology to orient and onboard new employees. By automating and digitizing onboarding processes, organizations can improve efficiencies and reduce the burden on HR staff. Additionally, digital onboarding can help to standardize and streamline the employee experience, making it simpler and more efficient for new hires to get up to speed with their new roles.
There are a number of different ways that organizations can approach digital onboarding, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. However, there are some best practices that can be followed to ensure a successful digital onboarding experience for both HR and new employees.
One important best practice is to ensure that all critical information is easily accessible online. This includes things like job descriptions, company policies, and training materials. Making this information readily available will save time for both HR and new employees during the onboarding process.
Another best practice is to use technology to automate as much of the onboarding process as possible. Automating tasks like email setup, password creation, and employee profile creation can save time and hassle for both HR staff and new hires. Additionally, consider using technology to create a centralized repository for all of your organization’s onboarding documents and materials. This will make it easy for everyone involved in the process to access the information they need, when they need it.
In light of our discussion, It is clear to us that digital onboarding is an important step in the employee lifecycle and can be a powerful tool for helping new hires become productive quickly. By investing in the right tools, processes and training, you can ensure that your organization is taking full advantage of this practice to create a welcoming environment where employees feel supported. To achieve optimal results with digital onboarding, it’s essential to implement best practices such as providing comprehensive information about the job duties and expectations, setting up clear communication channels between managers and employees, establishing goals for each role and regularly measuring progress. With these tips in mind, you will be able to create an effective employee digital onboarding program that helps new hires get up-to-speed quickly while also making them feel valued.
How To Create A Positive Financial Future For Yourself
If you’re like most people, you work, pay bills, try to save, and hope for an early retirement. But if you’re strategic about it, you could accelerate your retirement with good planning and disciplined investing.
There are many ways to improve your financial stakes, from increasing your income to lowering your expenses. But the most important thing you can do is to have investments that make you money while you’re still working and long after you retire.
To steadily grow your wealth isn’t a thing that just happens. It’s a strategy and discipline that impacts all aspects of your life.
Take consumer spending, for example. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average household spends nearly 75% of its household income on rent, food, energy, heating, and consumer goods.
So that means if you’re making nearly $80,000 as a household, you’re spending upwards of $60,000 to get by and live a comfortable life.
Suppose you want to accelerate your retirement and look to live comfortably in your later years. In that case, you’ll need to create a budget, including cost-of-living increases, decrease expenditures and discretionary spending, and create an investment portfolio that makes passive income over the length of the investments.
Create A Budget
The first step in shaping your financial future is to create a realistic budget that covers all your bills and also has room to allow you to save toward your goals.
When creating your budget, consider your family size, your immediate and future needs, and any short-term bills you need to pay off, like your credit cards or car loans.
Also, a problem most people face is that they don’t budget for cost-of-living increases, which will cut severely into any budget.
You can’t control the costs of things or the inflation rate, but you can add 10-15% on top of your budget to have a “rainy-day” fund that will cover living costs as they happen.
Budgeting does two things for you. First, it sets the expectations for income and expenses so that you’re operating within specific boundaries. Second, it shows you the expected amount you’ll need to get by for now and into retirement.
For example, if you have a mortgage payment and have 15 more years on it, then by budgeting, you establish expectations of what you will need to cover for the remaining terms of the loan.
This approach creates discipline in your spending and provides room for your budget after completing the loan.
On top of creating a budget, finding and eliminating unnecessary and costly expenditures is your next step toward creating a good financial foundation to prepare you for retirement.
Cost-cutting measures don’t need to be draconian. You just want to cut back and find room to save with simple things like;
- Cancel unnecessary subscriptions
- Avoid impulse buys
- Limit your credit card use
- Automate payments as needed
- Use loyalty points and sales to save money
Any effort to decrease your spending should be matched with increased income so that you double your savings opportunities. Consider a second job, a side hustle, or, most importantly, investing in things that will provide you with residual, passive income.
In part, developing a smart financial strategy is understanding your costs and revenue (budget), increasing income opportunities while lowering costs (decreasing expenditures), and making wise investments that make residuals on the side.
There are a few different ways to make wise investments that make you money on the side. Traditional ROTH 401(k)s are one of the most common ways, but plenty of alternative options are available.
One of the better ways to make a residual income is through real estate. Real estate is an investment that typically appreciates in time at faster and higher rates than inflation or cost-of-living, and if done correctly, can make residuals as well.
Rentals are the primary way investors can make money on their investment, but it comes with some risk. For example, there are maintenance costs, management costs, and vacancy possibilities where there won’t be a tenant and thus no income.
Another real estate option is to look at buying and selling property at the higher end, known as the luxury market.
Luxury markets in real estate are defined as having an expensive price tag, highly desirable location, large size, valuable materials, expert design, high-end amenities, or a prestigious history.
Unlike other real estate markets, the luxury market isn’t impacted by inflation since the consumers are typically high-wage earners with available assets to offset lending costs, making ownership in luxury markets an intelligent investment.
You can look for luxury opportunities by contacting local brokers and agents that specialize in the luxury market, or you can conduct your own Google search with search parameters like;
- Luxury apartments in New York
- Luxury Bahamas real estate guide
- Los Angeles Vacation Homes
- Luxury Homes In California
- Luxury Rentals in Texas
The luxury market will continue to appreciate, and with inflation impacting the lending markets, high-wage earners are better poised to act on purchase decisions as home prices are slowing down, making these types of investments more attractive.
Setting a course toward a better financial foundation prepares you for a life of retirement.
Being strategic, disciplined, and aggressive will allow you to achieve your goals sooner than if you didn’t have a plan, so get started today.
IM Academy Plans More In-Person Events After a Successful 2022 Schedule
IM Academy is an online educational platform, but for co-founder and CEO Christopher Terry, connecting with individuals in person is an important part of the business. While IM Academy’s mission is to provide accessible online educational materials, it often hosts IM Beyond gatherings of educators, students, and independent business owners involved with the Academy to discuss market strategies, network, and share insights on online education.
In 2022, IM Academy hosted four of these events, in Palm Beach, Florida; Barcelona, Spain; Phoenix; and Zurich. A fifth event is planned for Rotterdam, Netherlands, in December.
The events have coincided with a busy year of launching new programs at IM Academy. These include a travel and lifestyle service, TLX, as well as new academies focused on time-based scalping exchange strategies, the stock and futures markets, and building a social media presence. As the Academy continues to debut new programs, it’s reaching out with these in-person events to discuss its approach with interested students and independent business owners, focusing on expanding its reach at an international scale.
IM Beyond Events
Each IM Beyond event features a rotation of speakers involved with IM Academy as educators or independent business owners. These speakers share insights on how to reach students interested in pursuing financial education and discuss how to optimize the use of the Academy’s educational materials.
IM Mastery Academy co-founders Christopher Terry and Isis Terry are often keynote speakers at these events. They use the platform to espouse the Academy’s philosophy of positive self-talk and dedication to hard work when pursuing an online education in financial markets.
When the Terrys founded the Academy in 2013, they set out to build a platform that enabled interested students to learn about financial markets on their own schedule. With IM Beyond events, the goal is to spread the message of the Academy’s growing library of online educational resources.
“My goal in 2013, I said, ‘Let’s do it. We’re going to do it. Yes, we’re going to do it,’ and we start going along and boom, That’s my goal. I’m going to get there. I just have to make changes,’” said Terry in a recent speech. “I got up and stood up again, and a few times we had a couple of punches here and there, and now the goal was to have thousands of people come and celebrate and get us to the next level, and we’re here.”
As IM Academy has grown, its IM Beyond events have scaled up to attract thousands of attendees, reaching students and IBOs from around the world. In 2022, the Academy was particularly focused on Europe. In addition to the Barcelona, Zurich, and Rotterdam events, Christopher Terry completed an extensive European speaking tour throughout the summer, traveling to over 12 locations across the continent.
“After traveling to 12-plus countries during this recent Europe tour, it reoccurred to me that 90%-95% of people in this world are still programmed a certain way. Unfortunately, this program is on the side of struggle, setbacks, hardships,” said Terry in a recent Facebook post. “However, as creative beings, we have a choice. We can choose the thoughts to think, the affirmations to speak, and the actions to take. We can choose whether or not we want to reprogram our mind. Guys and girls, elevate yourself. Break out from the chains that bind you and begin programming your subconscious mind. It may not be easy, but the growth you may experience can make all the difference.”
At IM Beyond events and other speaking appearances, Terry sets out to communicate this message of the power of a determined, positive mindset and the value of pursuing an education.
Plans for the Future
After the success of 2022’s IM Beyond Events, IM Academy will look to continue to host similar events going forward. In addition to the Rotterdam event, it has announced plans to hold Elevate regional events, including one planned for Orlando, Florida, in 2023.
These events are part of an ongoing effort to expand the Academy’s reach, an effort that also includes the inauguration of new academies and services. Its most recent launch is the SMX social media academy, signaling that IM Academy is continuing to branch into other verticals outside of financial education. The SMX Academy provides students with resources to learn how to build a personal or business brand by creating engaging content on social media platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.
IM Academy also unveiled the TLX travel and lifestyle service, which offers members an online resource to book hotels and resorts around the world at a discounted rate, as well as the opportunity to reserve themed trips with other members and IM Academy educators.
Going forward, Christopher Terry envisions continued growth for the Academy, both in attracting new students and providing fresh resources.
“One word that comes to mind is unity,” said Terry in a Facebook post in which he reflected on the IM Beyond Phoenix event. “We united even stronger this past weekend. We came together and became stronger. Momentum is here.”
Note: IM Academy does not provide financial or investment advice to its students. Students do not trade on IM Academy educational platforms.
Qatar has taken major steps to improve migrant workers conditions
Qatar has taken several steps to improve the living conditions and rights of migrant workers working in the country. Some of the key actions taken by the government include minimum wage, health and safety protection and ending of the kafala system. Visit Doha News
Ali bin Samikh Al Marri, the Qatari Minister of Labour stated that his country was keen to implement the ILO standards, and ensure that migrant workers get their full rights. Major changes and reforms included:
Minimum Wage: In 2019, Qatar introduced a minimum wage of QR 750 ($205) for migrant workers, which is considered one of the highest in the region. The government also set up a complaints mechanism for workers to report violations of the minimum wage and other labor laws.
Health and Safety: The government has implemented safety regulations and building codes to ensure safe and healthy working conditions for workers. The Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (MADLSA) also has inspection teams that monitor working conditions and ensure compliance with health and safety regulations.
Kafala System: Qatar has reformed the kafala system, which previously required workers to have their employer’s permission to change jobs or leave the country. Under the new system, workers are now able to change jobs and leave the country without the need for an employer’s permission, which gives them more freedom and autonomy.
Other Rights: Qatar has also taken steps to improve the welfare of workers and their families. This includes the establishment of health centers and clinics for migrant workers and their families, as well as the provision of education and training programs to help workers improve their skills and find better-paying jobs.
Transparency: Qatar has improved the transparency of the labor market by making it easier for workers to change jobs and to access information about their rights and the laws that protect them.
Labor Law: The government has also introduced a new labor law, known as Law No. 21 of 2015, which strengthens the rights of migrant workers and increases the penalties for employers who violate these rights. The law includes provisions for better working conditions, including reasonable working hours, rest days, and paid leave, as well as protections against discrimination and abuse.
It’s worth noting that despite the efforts from the Qatari government, there have been reports of worker abuse and exploitation, and the effectiveness of the reforms is still in question. However, the government has been taking steps to address these issues and continues to make efforts to improve the rights and living conditions of migrant workers in the country. Ali bin Samikh Al Marri, the Qatari Minister of Labour, stated earlier that Qatar made major changes to labor market but media did not reflect such changes.
One of the key accomplishments of Al Marri’s efforts has been the establishment of a new government agency, the National Committee for Human Rights, which is responsible for overseeing the implementation of these reforms and ensuring that they are effective. The agency has been praised by international human rights organizations for its work in promoting workers’ rights, and has been credited with making significant progress in improving conditions for workers in Qatar.
In addition to his work at the national level, Al Marri has also been active in international forums, working with other countries and organizations to promote labor rights and improve working conditions for workers around the world. He has also been a vocal advocate for the rights of migrant workers, and has called for greater protections for these workers to ensure that they are treated fairly and humanely.
During a hearing held in Nov 2022 in Brussels, Ali Bin Samikh Al Marri stated that many improvements had been made over the past years in terms of worker’s rights and conditions, and that his former position as chairman of the national human rights committee was a testament to the direction the government was taking. His statements were supported by Max Tuñón, head of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) office in Doha.
Introduction To Accessibility Conformance Reports
What Is An Accessibility Conformance Report?
An Accessibility Conformance Report (ACR) is a document that formally summarizes the extent to which an information and communication technology (ICT) product or service conforms to an established set of accessibility standards and guidelines.
ACRs typically detail how an ICT product or service complies with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 or 2.1, the Revised Section 508 Accessibility Standards, and the European Union’s EN 301 549 Accessibility Standard for publicly procurable ICT products and services in Europe.
How Is An ACR Generated?
Choosing the proper version of the VPAT template to describe how accessible your ICT product or service is the first step in the VPAT accessibility process, which ends with the creation of an ACR.
The VPAT WCAG edition is used to evaluate and document the accessibility of digital offerings based on the WCAG standard. This edition of the VPAT template is used to document the accessibility of websites, web content, electronic documents, software, and authoring tools.
The VPAT Section 508 edition is used to prepare ACRs for ICT products and services procurable by federal agencies. It is based on the revised Section 508 accessibility standards.
The VPAT EU edition is based on the EU’s EN 301 549 accessibility standards for ICT products and services that are publicly procurable in Europe, while the VPAT International (INT) edition combines all the accessibility requirements in the other three VPAT editions and is used to develop VPAT reports for ICT products and services that are publicly procurable globally.
After choosing the right accessibility VPAT, the next stage in the VPAT accessibility pathway is the VPAT testing of the targeted product or service. This assessment helps identify any accessibility barriers in the product or service so that they can be fixed.
Findings of the assessment are captured in the ACR or VPAT report that is basically the filled out accessibility VPAT. The VPAT accessibility process is completed after the duly filled-out VPAT is made publicly accessible.
What Is VPAT Accessibility?
We’ve extensively used the term “VPAT accessibility” when illustrating how an ACR is generated. What does this term mean?
“VPAT accessibility” refers to the inclusive practices or actions associated with the VPAT to identify and deal with the barriers that prevent people with disabilities from interacting with and accessing information and communication technology (ICT) products and services.
Why Might You Need To Produce A VPAT ACR?
Today, VPAT ACRs are a widely utilized instrument in the procurement or tendering procedures for ICT products and services. In order to select the vendor that best satisfies their needs, buyers of various products and services utilize ACRs to compare the compliance levels of competing suppliers.
While VPAT certification is not mandatory, some buyers will not permit your products or services to participate in their procurement procedures if they are not ACR compliant. If you want to sell your products and services to state governments, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations that receive government funding, then you’ll need this VPAT report as part of your bid documents.
Having a VPAT ACR for each of your ICT products and services is therefore a smart idea in case a chance to offer them to markets that need them emerges. It would be nice to have an ACR even if it is not mandated as part of the procurement procedures where you sell your ICT products and services because it will reflect your dedication to making your products and services accessible to as many people as is feasible.
How Acrs Are Structured?
ACRs are structured into six sections: the product or service summary, the applicable standards or guidelines, the WCAG 2.0/2.1 report, the revised Section 508 report, the EN 301 549 report, and a legal disclaimer.
Need Assistance With Creating Or Updating Your VPAT ACR?
You can create a VPAT ACR for your ICT product or service by learning from this duly filled-out VPAT report example. It is however advisable to get a third party professional to help you through the VPAT accessibility process so that your VPAT ACR is viewed from a credibility perspective.
If you ever consider having a third party to help you in creating your ACR, talk to ADACP who did for us a great job. You can schedule an appointment with them by calling (626) 486-2201. Their consultations are usually free.
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